Sen. Bernie Sanders sharply criticized President Trump during a 2018 rally in Oceanside. Photo by Chris Stone

Led by San Diego’s Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, California Young Democrats overwhelmingly voted over the weekend to endorse 78-year-old Bernie Sanders for the party’s presidential nomination.

Fellow senator Elizabeth Warren was a distant second, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old moderate candidate, received a single vote, according to results announced Monday.

The pick came Saturday at the group’s state leadership committee meeting during the state Democratic Party’s November Endorsement event in Long Beach. The official youth arm of the California Democratic Party is made up of members ages 14–35.

In a ranked-choice vote, the Vermont senator attained the two-thirds threshold required in the first round of voting.

“U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been leading the fight for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal and College For All, which is why so many Young People are ‘Feeling the Bern,’” said Rodriguez-Kennedy, group president and chairman of the San Diego County Democratic Party.

Sanders said he was honored to receive the endorsement.

“Young people are far more power than the establishment wants them to think,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to recognize their power, and look forward to working with them — and young people across this country — to achieve justice.”

Sanders received 84 of 126 votes cast. The State Leadership Committee of the California Young Democrats is a body that consists of chapter leaders, caucus leaders, CYD officers and ex-officios.

The count was as follows:

  • Bernie Sanders – 84 (66.67%)
  • Elizabeth Warren – 29 (23.02%)
  • Kamala Harris – 6 (4.76%)
  • Julian Castro – 3 (2.38%)
  • Cory Booker – 1 (0.79%)
  • Pete Buttigieg – 1 (0.79%)

“No Endorsement” received two votes.

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